These Are the 10 Superfoods That Will Lower Your Cholesterol
More than a third from all the adults in the US suffer from hypercholesterolemia, or more known as elevated levels of the bad cholesterol in the body, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The elevated levels of LDL, or as we call it the bad cholesterol, increase the risk of any cardiovascular including any heart disease, such as a heart attack.
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So, basically, there are several types of cholesterol – HDL (high-density lipoprotein), LDL (low-density lipoprotein), and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein). While the levels of HDL are very good for your body, the levels of LDL and VLDL are not.
Superfoods That Will Lower Your Cholesterol
Although the high cholesterol does not recognize any gender, are or ethnicity, there are some factors that can increase that risk, such as obesity, poor diet, excessive smoking, lack of exercise, large waist circumference, hypthyroidism, and diabetes. And, even though almost most of these factors are within your reach of control, your genetics is not.
Because the high cholesterol does not show any symptoms you have to go and check yourself up from time to time. You can measure your overall cholesterol levels, your HDL, your LDL and your triglycerides with something called a lipid panel test.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is what the healthy levels of cholesterol should look like – the total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL, the HDL cholesterol should be 40 mg/dL or higher, the LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dL, and the triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dL.
If you do not control your cholesterol levels on time, it will cause you some major health problems such as chest pain, strokes or even a heart attack. Thankfully there are plenty of natural ways which will help you reduce your cholesterol levels, and here are the best 10 foods to do that with.
- Almonds – they contain fiber, healthy monosaturated fast which are good for the heart, and also polyunsaturated fats, which all have the power to lower the bad and increase the good cholesterol. The Nutrition Review published a study in the year of 2011 that shows how eating only three almonds in a day or any other nuts, you can lower your cholesterol levels from three to 19%, and that is amazing. There was another study published in 2015 by the Journal of the American Heart Association that says how consuming almonds on a daily basis is a simple routine, but yet so effective in preventing any cardio metabolic diseases. Take a handful of these nuts, combine them with cereal, yogurt, or salad topping and make it your favorite healthy snack. Just don’t forget that the key is moderation. Also, the walnuts and the flax seeds are good for lowering your cholesterol levels.
- Oatmeal – this is an easy way to reduce your cholesterol levels, just have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast in the morning, and thanks to the high amount of soluble fibers it contains, the absorption of the cholesterol in the bloodstream will decrease. The oatmeal will also help you avoid mindless eating because it is able to fill you up quickly. Other than that, consuming oats on a regular basis is related to decreasing the risk of developing diabetes type 2 and any cardiovascular disease whatsoever. A bowl of oatmeal should suffice for breakfast, or just use it in baked goods and smoothies.
- Salmon – the salmon contains in itself DHA and EPA omega 3 fatty acids which will prevent the high cholesterol levels. It will also help with reducing the triglycerides and even make a slight increase in the good cholesterol levels, reducing your chances of a heart disease. The salmon is also well known in low saturated fats and cholesterol. It is recommended to consume at least two servings of it in a grilled or a baked version per one week. One serving can be about three ounces. If you care to consume fish oil supplements then consult with your doctor.
- Orange juice – the American Society for Clinical Nutrition has published a study in the year of 2000 that shows how the orange juice will improve the level of lipid in hypercholesterolemia patients, and this is all thanks to the presence of folate, flavonoids and Vitamin C present in the in the content of the oranges. The recommended daily amount of freshly extracted or a plant sterol fortified orange juice is from two to three cups. An alternative to this is consuming a few of oranges in a day.
- Green tea – one of the easiest ways to lower the total cholesterol and the bad cholesterol levels is consuming a couple of cups of green tea on a daily basis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study in the year of 2011 of 14 randomized trials, showing how this tea can reduce the fasting serum total and the bad levels of cholesterol in adults. The green tea also includes a couple of compounds that can help the diminishing of the cholesterol, as well as prevent the absorption within the digestive tract. In addition to this, the green tea lowers the risk of a stroke, a heart attack, because it prevents the buildup of plaque within your arteries. Make sure you consume three to four cups of the green tea in a day, whether hot of ice cold. If you consider taking up any supplements, make sure you consult your doctor.
- Soybeans and soy products – the soy products have plant based protein and this is why products such as the soybeans are excellent for treating the high levels of cholesterol. The soy might not reduce your total cholesterol levels in big amounts, but still, it can do a great deal of good to your LDL levels of cholesterol. It is very rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, polyunsaturated fats and very low levels of saturated fats. Also, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study in 2011, according to which if you consume about one serving of soy per day (15 to 30 grams), it will affect your serum lipo protein risk factor which can contribute to a heart disease. So, if you want to reduce your cholesterol levels make sure you consume more soybean, edamame, tofu, soy flour, and enriched soy milk.
- Avocados – there is a high amount of monosaturated fats present in the avocados will lower the bad cholesterol in the body with obese and overweight people, and increase the levels of the HDL, the good cholesterol. The plant sterols in the avocados will help you reduce your cholesterol levels. Also, the avocados are filled with protein, fiber, Vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, and even some minerals which have proven to be beneficial for your overall health. Make sure you consume an avocado a day. Addd it to your salads, sandwiches, or eat avocado slices as a side dish.
- Olive oil – there are high levels of monosaturated fats in the olive oil which can reduce the levels od LDL cholesterol, which in return will reduce your risk of a heart attack or a stroke. In addition to this, the olive oil is rich in Vitamin E which is good for your heart as well as your overall health. Replace all the less healthy fats you consume every day with the extra virgin olive oil, two tablespoons of it in a day. You can use it as a dip for your bread, make salad dressings or just to saute vegetables. Just make sure you avoid the excessive use because this is an oil which is high in calories.
- Dark chocolate – another excellent food which will contribute in lowering your LDL cholesterol levels ad increase your HDL cholesterol levels is the dark chocolate. This is because the theobromine in the dark chocolate makes this food effective in increasing the good cholesterol in the body, according to the study published in the year of 2013 by the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition. Also, the dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids which will prevent the blood platelets from sticking together, preventing clogging of the blood. In turn, this will lower the risk of a heart attack and a stroke. The daily recommended intake of dark chocolate is about one or two small pieces, just make sure it contains at least 60% cocoa.
- Garlic – not only it wil help you lower your cholesterol levels, the garlic will also lower your blood pressure, prevent blood clots and prevent heart diseases. The National Institute of Integrative Medicine published a study in the year of 2013 which stated that the garlic extract is found to be very effective and a safe alternative to the pharmaceutical cholesterol and the blood pressure lowering medications. This is why you need to consume two to three cloves in a day on an empty stomach. Also, you can use fresh garlic in various dishes, soups, stews, and in salad dressings too. If you consider taking some garlic supplements, make sure you consult your doctor for the proper dosage.
Some additional tips for you – stop smoking; exercise for at least half an hour, five times in a week; try to maintain a healthy weight; eat a diet low in saturated fats; avoid or reduce the consumption of alcohol, avoid processed foods, fatty or fried foods and carbs; avoid egg yolks, red meat, full fat dairy products, and any other foods that can contribute to increasing the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.